Ortega High School

Skip to main content
En Español



Dear Parents and Students:


Completing a FAFSA or CA Dream Act application is a now graduation requirement. This law, AB 469, was passed by the state in October 2021.


The first step is for your child to go to the California College web site https://www.californiacolleges.edu/#/ , Once there, they need to sign in or register their account. Your child should have already been introduced to this web site through their previous high school or Careers Class. If they are unable to log into this web site, they need to contact their College and Career Technician, Ms. Angela Vander Velde.


Once they have logged in, your child needs just to select the Financial Aid tab and select either the FAFSA or Dream Act link and just follow the directions.


Under special circumstances ONLY, there is an opt-out waiver, please contact the school if you plan to pursue this option.

fafsa or cadaa guide


All students start the application process by completing and submitting either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CA Dream Act Application (CADAA).

Whether a student is completing a bachelor’s program, associate’s program, a credential program, or a career technical education program, there’s money available to help.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

If a student is a US Citizen, permanent resident, or other qualifying non-resident then they must submit a FAFSA by the March 2 Cal Grant Deadline to be eligible for the most opportunities. Students attending California Community Colleges can submit a FAFSA through September 2 of each year to be considered for a community college Cal Grant award. To start the FAFSA a student will need to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID so they can login and sign the completed application. The FAFSA is used to apply for state financial aid, like Cal Grant and the Middle Class Scholarship, federal financial aid programs like Pell Grant, and institutional aid from colleges like the Blue and Gold Scholarship or the State University Grant (SUG).

FAFSA Button


CA Dream Act Application (CADAA)

Undocumented students who meet AB 540 requirements will need to submit the CA Dream Act Application by the March 2 Cal Grant Deadline to be eligible for the most opportunities. Students attending California Community Colleges can submit a CA Dream Act Application through September 2 of each year to be considered for a community college Cal Grant award. After a student completes the CA Dream Act Application they must respond to requests for additional information including but not limited to the AB 540 affidavit from the student’s school of attendance. The CA Dream Act Application is used to apply for state financial aid, like Cal Grant and the Middle Class Scholarship as well as institutional aid from colleges like the Blue and Gold Scholarship or the State University Grant (SUG).

California Dream Act Application


All students should create a WebGrants 4 Students (WG4S) Account

Students should create a WG4S account to monitor and manage their state awarded financial aid. 

After a student’s FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application is processed, they will receive an email from CSAC letting them know it’s time to create their WebGrants 4 Students account.  WebGrants 4 Students (WG4S) will let students check the status of their state grants, and take necessary steps to secure their aid. It’s important to note that a student’s WG4S account does not replace their school or FAFSA accounts and they may need more than one account to successfully apply for financial aid.

Stay up-to-date on deadlines and requirements by reading all correspondence from CSAC, FAFSA and your school of attendance.


WebGrants 4 Students Button

Regarding Accepting Student Loans:


It’s important to know that you’re under no obligation to accept all the federal student loan money made available to you. You can accept all, some or none of the federal student loans you’re offered. Your award letter may also include scholarships or grants, which is genuinely free money you never have to pay back. Try to use as much free money as you can before you borrow. Just remember to check the terms to ensure you can fulfill any requirements. 


Most schools use an online portal that allows students to fully accept, decline or partially accept a loan when first starting admission. Usually student and/or parent will sign a promissory note. By signing the promissory note, you are promising to repay your student loan. The financial aid office for the school will guide them through the paperwork or direct them to the online Master Promissory Note if appropriate. *If you take out a loan from the Direct Loan Program, the U.S. Department of Education will be the lender.
For further assistance please schedule a meeting here:
What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students submit the FAFSA to apply for financial aid for college from the federal government, state governments and most colleges and universities. About 20 million students file the FAFSA each year. Financial aid includes grants, scholarships, student employment and student loans.


*This is used as a tool to assist you in gathering information needed for the online application

Step 1

Create an FSA ID


How to Create FSA ID Video Link:






What is an FSA ID?

Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents.


  • Use Email you will ALWAYS USE
  • Use User Name and Password you will remember
  • Social Security Number is required(if you don’t have one, speak with Ms. Angela)
  • Choose Security Questions that will remain the same

    • Good Example: Mother’s Maiden Name(won’t change)

    • Bad Example: Favorite Food(your favorite food today might change tomorrow)



Link to create an FSA ID:




Step 2

Help Parent Create THEIR OWN FSA ID

It’s important to understand that the student and the parent may not share an FSA ID: Your FSA ID is your signature, so it has to be unique to you. If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child's FAFSA form electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications, but each child must have his or her own.

When you create your FSA ID, you will be given the option to provide your email address and register your mobile phone number. If you choose to provide this information (we strongly encourage you to do so), it is important to remember that a mobile phone number or email address can be associated with only one FSA ID.

For example, if you are a dependent student, you and your parent would not be able to provide the same email address or phone number when you each create your own FSA ID.

Link to create an FSA ID:



FAFSA General Overview Video Link:



Step 3

Gather Parent’s 2020 Income Tax Information

  • Income tax information is used to calculate the Earned Family Contribution(EFC)

    • The information you report on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or your FAFSA4caster is used to calculate your EFC. Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.

    • Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.

For more information about the EFC, see Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid at: https://studentaid.ed.gov/resources#information-on-getting. To request a free copy of Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).


filing chart

  • There is no income limit to complete the FAFSA. If your family makes a certain level of income, you may be correct to assume that you may not qualify for much, if any, need-based aid. But you don’t want to rule yourself out. Not all financial aid programs will have the same income criteria to qualify. And not all financial aid is need-based.
  • The FAFSA is also used to help you apply for certain types of non-need-based aid. For example, Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds are non-need-based loans. And some colleges may require you to complete the FAFSA to receive any type of aid, including merit aid.
  • Here’s the bottom line, unless you are planning on paying directly out of pocket, you should complete the FAFSA.

Step 4

Start your Financial Aid Application on October 1st, 2021

Complete Application for 2022-2023 (This is the application Current Seniors must complete) Complete by March 2nd!





FAFSA Line-by-Line Video:


Completing FAFSA from CaliforniaColleges.edu:

Step 5

Complete your Application and have Ms. Angela Review (if necessary).


Step 6

Sign your Financial Aid Application with your FSA ID

  • Then have your Parent sign with their FSA ID

    • If your parent does not have an FSA ID, a paper sig​nature page can be mailed

Submit Application by March 2nd, 2021 in order to be considered for state aid (Cal Grants).

  • You will receive a confirmation page in your email

    • Forward your confirmation Page to Ms. Angela's Email

*March 2nd is required in order to be eligible for Cal Grants.

Financial aid is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Essentially, the sooner you complete the form, the greater your chances of receiving financial aid.

*The deadline to qualify for CA Community College Grants is September 2nd.

***If you have missed the FAFSA deadline, you will still need to complete and file your FAFSA as soon as possible. All FAFSA applications that are submitted after the processing deadline will be considered for funding only after all on-time filers have been awarded.


Step 7

Create a WebGrants Account to view your grants.



Step 8

Continuously check emails for requests to make corrections(If necessary)

line break
What is the CADAA?
The California Dream Act Application allows students who enrolled in eligible California Colleges, Universities and Career Education Programs to apply for state financial aid. This application is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Generally speaking, this financial aid application is for undocumented students.

California Dream Act Online Application

Application Worksheet Link:

*This is to assist you in gathering information for the online application


Dream Act Application video Link:



DreamAct FAQ.pdf

What is AB 540?

AB 540 exempts certain students from paying nonresident tuition (higher than resident tuition) and allows them to apply for different types of California Dream Act financial aid.

  1. Satisfaction of either of the following:
    1. High School attendance in California for three or more years.
    2. Attainment of credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school coursework and a total of three or more years of attendance in California elementary schools, California secondary schools, or a combination of those schools.
  2. Graduated or will graduate from a California high school or obtained a Certificate or General Education Development (GED), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), or test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC).
  3. Will register or enroll in an accredited and qualifying California college or university.
  4. If applicable, complete(d) an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as you are eligible.
  5. Do not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, B, C, D, E, etc.)**

**If you have Temporary Protected Status or hold a U Visa you may be eligible for the California Dream Act.

AB 1899 allows U and T visa holders to also apply for state financial aid. (T visa holders should file a FAFSA, U visa holders should file a CA Dream Act Application)

If you meet the requirements above, you should complete the CA Dream Act Application for financial aid. (A certified GPA is also necessary for Cal Grant consideration.)
Your college is responsible for verifying your AB 540 eligibility. Check with your Admissions Office early in the summer before the Fall Term starts.

What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals / DACA?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a federal process that defers removal action of an individual by USCIS for a specified number of years.

  • It is not the same as financial aid

  • It does not grant lawful immigration status

  • It does allow individuals to apply for an SSN and work authorization

CA Dreamers should still file a CA Dream Act Application instead of a FAFSA and submit a Non-SSN GPA. If you or your school submits your certified GPA using your DACA SSN, make sure you include that DACA SSN on question #8 of your CA Dream Act Application.

For more info about DACA visit: uscis.gov, e4fc.org, and steps-to-apply-to-DACA

For more details about the difference between DACA and California Dream Act download this PDF.

What Financial Aid can a Dreamer apply for?

  • Cal Grant, Chafee Grant, Middle Class Scholarship

  • UC Grants, State University Grants

  • California Community College (CCC) BOG Fee Waiver


  • Some University scholarships

  • Some private scholarships administered by campuses

Application deadline for all Dreamer Cal Grants and most of the other aid listed above is March 2.

  • High School Entitlement Cal Grant A & B

  • CCC Transfer Entitlement Cal Grant A & B

  • Cal Grant C

A Dreamer Cal Grant application = CA Dream Act Application + Non-SSN GPA

You can submit your GPA the following ways

  • Non-SSN - Best!

  • SSN (with your DACA) – but you MUST make sure you include your DACA SSN on Question #8 of your CA Dream Act Application (may slow down processing of your application)

You must meet the application deadline and all applicable eligibility requirements to qualify for any financial aid listed above.

Get help on your application at a Cash for College workshop in your area.

For other financial aid and resources for Dreamers visit: e4fc.org, maldef.org

More about Cal Grant

Cal Grants For Dreamers

The application deadline for all Dreamer Cal Grants is March 2.

  • Meet AB 540 requirements

  • Graduate high school or equivalent (GED, CHSPE) after July 1, 2013

  • Submit a high school GPA

  • Meet AB 540 requirements

  • Under 28 by Dec 31st of the award year

  • Attend a community college in the academic year immediately before the award year

  • Submit a community college GPA of 24+ units (2.40 or higher)

  • Include a 4-year college on your Dream App

  • Meet AB 540 requirements

  • Enroll in an occupational or technical program

  • Indicate an occupational or technical program on Q#30 of your Dream App

Dreamers are not eligible to receive Competitive Cal Grant A & B awards.

A Dreamer Cal Grant application = CA Dream Act Application + Non-SSN GPA

You must meet the application deadline and all applicable eligibility requirements to qualify for any Cal Grants listed above.

If you are not eligible for a Dreamer Cal Grant, visit the financial aid office at your campus to find out what other aid is available.

Why do I need an AB 540 Affidavit?

The affidavit is used for students whom meet the AB 540 requirements.  The affidavit allows eligible students to receive In State Tuition at California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University (all public colleges and universities in California).

Affidavit Link:


Dream Act FAQ Link:


Parent Signature Page Link:


Cal Grant Disqualification Fact Sheet


Understanding my Cal Grant



line break


  • As outlined in the above table, DACA is NOT a financial aid application. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”), is an executive order issued on June 15, 2012 by President Obama, protecting eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States as children. DACA gives eligible undocumented immigrants:
    • temporary deportation protection
    • and a work permit that allows them to get a social security number.
  • Steps To Apply for DACA for the First Time
  • DACA, AB540, and the California Dream Act are not the same. Please see table below to understand the difference between all three programs.

line break

CalVet Website Logo
If you are the son or daughter of a disabled or honored military service member, you may qualify for the Cal Vet College Fee Waiver. Click HERE to learn more.
line break
Main Career Center Home Page
Your total cost of going to college can vary greatly depending on what type of school you choose and the decisions you make while you’re in school! Play this fun interactive game, PAYBACK, to experience some of these decisions.
Top 10 Mistakes made on the FAFSA:
Types of Aid:
types of aid